June 19, 2020

World traveler visits South Fairbanks

“I saw this black-and-white bird, smaller than my hand, its beak open, music pouring out. I remembered the blackpoll warbler making headlines a few years ago. Researchers had discovered that, in fall, after crossing North America from the far north, the birds leap off branches on the East Coast. They then fly thousands of miles over the open Atlantic Ocean on their way to South America.”


Fold-thrust belt outcrop pattern with doubly-plunging anticline

The latest post from The Geo Models blog.


June 15, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 30

Anchors up, and underway. After a few days of turnover, we are now on our way. We’ve said goodbye to our Leg3 colleagues, after absorbing as much information as possible on their experiences, the state of the instrumentation, and ideas on how to proceed.


June 14, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 29

After 5.5 weeks in transit, we are finally onboard of Polarstern. What a long journey it has been just to get to this point…. And our journey is really just beginning…


June 13, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 28

As we wait here…. For an excruciatingly long time to rendezvous with Polarstern, there has been some moderately good news. The sea-ice melt season has started out at the MOSAiC floe. I wish we were there with the full arsenal of observations and samples.


June 12, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 27

Polarstern is making slow progress as it tries to leave the ice. Funny how the ice has drifted so fast this year, and broken up so much. Yet it still has a firm grip on Polarstern. Not wanting to let her pass easily to the edge.


When permafrost kills? A moose story

While standing over the festering moose, Douglas points out meat on the animal’s ribs, along with internal organs undamaged, seeming proof that a hungry bear or wolf did not pull it down. There are no large animal tracks nearby in the mud. Did this northern sinkhole kill the moose? Thawing permafrost — ground that has remained frozen through the heat of at least two summers — is usually a slow-motion disaster, resulting in slowly sinking buildings and roller-coaster roads.


June 4, 2020

A tale of glacier mice and young love

Green and spongy, glacier mice are not really rodents at all. They consist mostly of moss, and are the subject of a recent published study. Two of its authors are former Alaska graduate students, who met and fell in love in the company of the little green pincushions.


Looking for southern Appalachian rockfall scars using a high-resolution LiDAR dataset

I was able to find what I believe to be a few examples of “boulder tracks” using outstanding LiDAR hillshade imagery from the North Carolina Geological Survey. All features shown occur in generally gneissic bedrock on extensively forested slopes that have been logged within the last century.


May 29, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 26

The vastness is remarkable. Heading through the North Sea and out into the North Atlantic. Norwegian mountains on the horizon. A modest swell. For a land-locked Coloradoan, the ocean is such an immense open space. And oddly this is where we have come to have less space.